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Paperwhimsy Inspire Blog

Warping Your Mini Loom

 

It's very easy to warp our mini tapestry loom. Please refer to the diagram and photos, below, to assist you.

 

You will warp the loom by looping your warp fiber around the small prongs as shown above. (You'll note that the bottom of the loom is thicker than the top.) Pull your warp fiber fairly taut but do not pull too energetically as to break the prongs or the loom.

You can warp the full width of the loom or you can make your weaving narrower by warping the width you would like your weaving to be.

I wrap the first warp around the top of the loom and tie it to the side. When I've finished warping my loom I tie it off the same way on the opposite side.

This is how your warped loom should look from the front and the back.

I used a 20# hemp cord when I warped this top example. Hemp works great as it is sturdy and does not stretch when you're warping and pulling the hemp taut.

You can also use a 10# hemp cord which is finer, just use a double strand, as shown below. Any sturdy thin cord that does not stretch should work for your warp thread.

When you weave your fibers through the warp you will use an under/over weaving style. First row will be under/over, second row will be over/under, alternating each subsequent row. Use the small comb to  gently tamp down your weft as you weave so the woven rows fit together snuggly.

 

When I start weaving I always leave a length of an extra 3" or so of fiber which I will then weave into the back once I've finished the project. As you change yarns/fibers in your project, leave an extra few inches so you can weave them into the back of your weaving when you're finished. Or if you change fibers/yarns midway through a row you can also leave the extra length of fibers hanging to the front of your weaving for added interest. 

On my sample project I kept the extra lengths of fibers quite long and then created a small tassel effect by pulling the fibers together, wrapping a bit of yarn around the top and letting these long ends dangle below the weaving. We're having FUN so just improvise. There are no strict rules in weaving a fiber tapestry such as this.

When you're finished with your weaving turn the loom over so the back of your weaving is facing you and clip the bottom weft threads where they loop around the prongs. Lift your weaving off the loom, carefully. To keep the weaving from unraveling you can either knot the loose warp threads at the bottom of your weaving or you can use a glue gun, fabric glue or tiny stitches to secure them to the bottom few rows of your weaving. You could also weave them back up into the weaving and then secure with glue.

To finish the top of your weaving slide a thin dowel or tiny branch through the loops of the weft at the top so you can hang your weaving and it remains flat. 

ÔĽŅ

A tip when weaving - don't pull too tightly on the weft which will pull in the outermost warp threads. You want the edges of your finished weaving to be straight. Pull your weft through carefully to keep your edges straight and tamp down your weft with the comb throughout your project.

The silk cocoon I used as a vase is something I picked up in England. I have found similar along with many rovings and fibers, available on Amazon. If you purchase the natural color cocoons you can dye them with watercolor or diluted ink. Another fun addition to your project.

Fibers, yarns, ribbons, lace, string, even paper, can be incorporated in your weaving. The first few rows of my weaving I cut strips from dried mulberry bark and wove them into my project (you can find mulberry bark along with a host of other wonderful yarns and fibers on Etsy). 

Cheers!

Visit Pinterest for oodles of weaving inspiration. A search for "small weavings" or "fiber weavings" will get you started.

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The Zen in Rituals

I love rituals. There is something so comforting in them for me. I like surprises - good ones like when Draw comes home with a bouquet of flowers or a box of popsicles or a bag of sunflower kernels (simple pleasures). But I also like my rituals. Doing the same thing every morning as I greet a new day. 

One protracted but appreciated ritual is making my morning cup of coffee. I spend a half hour making that cup - grinding the beans, pulling the espressos, frothing the milk. It takes me a whole lot longer to make the thing than it does to drink it but even the making is a familiar ritual that brings me some pleasure.

I've added a new ritual to my mornings - I like to think of it as "zen painting". Just quiet time for about 30 minutes where all I think about is water and paint.

I took control of the kitchen table and turned it into an ersatz studio. I have a pretty view of our back garden right now and I try to keep this space under control and in a kind of zen state because I can be a very messy artist.

It's from this spot that I paint with watercolor, a medium that never really appealed to me that much. I suddenly love how the water and paint interact with each other and how they move around the page and it feels so relaxing. With my lack of expertise (I'm still learning) it's always a surprise to see what comes of it. I generally have no expectations apart from hoping that I'm not going to end up tossing my painting out because it's crap. I try not to put those stifling thoughts into my head. I just want to play. Sometimes the paintings turn out okay and sometimes they get cut up and put in a box of scraps for who knows what.

And I've also revisited a love from, like, a million years ago... weaving. I used to create wall hangings with fibers and rovings - weaving on frames made of twigs and branches. I wish I had photos of those - who knows where those got to.

I designed a small loom because I'm loving tiny art right now and pulled out some fibertastic goodies I picked up in England seven or eight years ago. Finally... I'm living proof that those art supplies we buy and leave in bags hanging on the bedroom or studio door are some day going to be rediscovered and used. So, keep buying that stuff, my friends! There's an idea percolating in your head that's going to sprout wings and you need to be ready for it.

My first re-attempt at weaving...

It was like getting back on a bike after 25 years and riding again. I only fell down five or six times but I persevered. And I'm ready to try again.

The little loom is super easy to warp and the weaving, mistakes and backtracks included, took me all of an hour. More about the little loom can be found by clicking the photo, below. What a great excuse to collect cool fibers, laces, ribbons, string, yarns on your next trip. 

I feel this might become an evening ritual after the hubbub of the day quiets down and the laser is turned off. I will commandeer the right side of our sofa boat and turn it into my weaving studio. I've always loved fibers and yarns and strings and twigs and I am quite sure there are many hours of wefting to be enjoyed over a cup of chamomile tea.

Happy creating and TTFN!

G

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Creating a Precious Memento

Souvenirs Précieux - Precious Mementos

This memento, above, uses an antique souvenir spoon and antique button found in England, and some handmade marbled papers

 

Using the newest Amazing Alterables‚ĄĘ winged medallions is such a terrific way to create your own very special keepsake or token as a remembrance of a very special event. Using and displaying special finds and treasures you've collected on your trips and travels and holidays is so much better than boxing them up and leaving them in a drawer to be forgotten.

I like collecting bits of foliage, stones, maps, brochures, twigs, antique "smalls" like buttons and keys, and I stash them away hoping that inspiration will strike and somehow they will be used in an exciting way.

It was, after designing the newest Amazing Alterables‚ĄĘ medallions, that inspiration did, indeed, strike!

This memento uses an antique buckle given to me from my son and DIL from one of their travels, along with pressed foliage, a beach pebble and an antique bug ornament found in an antique store on one of our roadtrips. 

 

I pulled out my box of collected goodies and the new medallions and set to playing.

When working with the Amazing Alterables‚ĄĘ I always start (almost always) by using spray paint to paint all the assorted wood bits that come with the particular product I'm working with. I love love love Krylon Antique Bronze so that's my go-to color. I also like the gold spray paint as well as satin nickel or silver.

Once I've sprayed all the alterable pieces I then start to add additional shades and tones of color by painting with my finger. I'll add touches of craft paint in assorted colors, as well as Inka Gold (usually Old Silver or Old Gold). 

I scratch some of the surfaces to get a kind of distress antiquey thing going on and then I'll use Distress Ink in Walnut Brown or Staz-On in Saddle Brown to antique the pieces.

 This memento is displaying beach pebbles found on a recent roadtrip which I painted with gold ink. So happy to use beach pebbles in a memento!

 

I love collecting stones and pebbles on my travels so I was excited to incorporate some of those in my mementos. I also pulled out a couple of antique buttons, an old souvenir spoon found in England, an old buckle that was given to me as a gift by my son and his wife collected on one of their travels, some old papers and an old map, and some pressed leaves I've had for years.

 

This memento uses an old map, a clock key found while antiquing on a road trip, an antique button from England, and twigs collected on a hike. 

 

I painted a bit of gold ink on the stones and also the pressed leaves (Winsor & Newton). I wrapped thin wire around an old clock key collected eons ago that I discovered made a jolly little vase when turned upside down for a few special twigs I'd become fond of for some odd reason.

Where you go with your mementos is entirely up to you but using the little treasures you've collected on your travels, or treasures shared with you that were collected on someone else's travels is such a brilliant way to adorn and complete these newest medallions (or any of the medallions that are part of the PaperWhimsy Amazing Alterables‚ĄĘ collection). So fun and so much better than hiding your sweet little collection of travel treasures in a box in a drawer.

 

 

You can find these cool winged medallions by clicking HERE or by clicking on NEW GOODS at the top of our website.

Enjoy and Happy Travels!

g xo

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A Curious Spring Trio

If you're in search of a fun little project that will dress up your home, work or play environment then this funky little trio might do the trick: our Curious Spring Fairy Kit.

 

They take just a tiny bit of fussy cutting, a few spots of glue and lots of smiles in the making. Great if you want to gather some fairy-loving friends together for a spring tea party and make something delightful to take with.

Get the skinny, here, oh intrepid artist.

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Creating Curious Badges

Creating Curious Badges:

I've been playing with the idea of "flair" for quite a while but it wasn't until I was visiting my son in California that the idea finally consumed me. Yep, I take my sketchbook with me wherever I go - and I usually don't pull it out. But for my trip to visit my son, with gorgeous warm breezes wafting through his large patio door... oh, I had an urge to draw.

 

Today, I took an opportunity to play with one of the badges from Collage Badges No.1. Digging through papers and doodads, having a ball.

The very talented, Laura Himm, had shared with me her badge construction from Curious Badges No.2 and so she inspired me to carve out the time to create my own.

Laura's badge blew me away! Using some papers and paints and lovely bits she'd gotten from Tinsel Trading company she created a small bit of heaven to pin on her lapel.

 

And so I started painting and gluing and sanding...

This is Digi 010, which I used as the background for the top decorative blanks. For the bottoms I covered in InkaGold and then scratched and antiqued for an aged look.

The little leaves were bits I've had for ages - I think their from Cousins Bead Co. 

Tiny antique silver frame is from the new Curious Itty Bitty Frames.

The fancy scissors are purely props - I tried to cut with them but they hurt like heck. My scissors of choice are Cutter Bee scissors from EK Success.

And ta da!

 

So much fun to create these little art snacks to wear! I'd dearly love to see what you've created with the new Curious Badges or any of the Amazing Alterables‚ĄĘ!

 

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A Childs Mind

A Childs Mind

Hi!  Tina here today with another new PaperWhimsy Amazing Alterable idea!

I love covering PW Amazing Alterables with all types of mediums; paints, ink, pastes, foil, and fabric.  Today's project highlights how wonderful these pieces look when covered with fabric, especially eco-dyed fabric.

Covering your PW pieces with fabric is a super easy and super quick way to create beautiful background.  Fabric creates a background that can be challenging to replicate with paint or ink.

Using some of my favorite vintage findings; watch faces, drawer pulls and knobs, I embellished my project to complete the vintage feel.  I always love how well Amazing Alterables combine with vintage objects to create one of a kind pieces.  A match made in heaven!

With the perfect paint, ink, or covering, you can never tell what is old and what is new!

Paper Whimsy Products used:

Curious Assemblage No. 1

Thank you for stopping by today!  Have a wonderful day! 

Hugs,

Tina

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